More about the National Audit of Science Engagement Activities

To view interactive visualisations of the results of this project see here, otherwise read below to learn more about the project background.

Creating a snapshot of science engagement in Australia

It’s a picture as big as Australia. A flash of light illuminating how people are getting science out to the community. And in 2012 it’s the first time we’ve ever done it.

The aim of the national audit is to create a snapshot of all of the diverse science communication activities and programs going on between January 2011 and June 2013.

The main information gathering tool is an on-line survey filled in by those who have developed or delivered some form of science engagement activity. We’ve turned the results into an interactive visual national online database for anyone to explore key aspects of the survey answers. And we are developing a fully searchable database for more in-depth online analysis.

The interactive visual database will help you look for:

  • who are Australia’s players in science engagement –  internationally, nationally, regionally and locally
  • where and who is missing out on science engagement
  • how people link their activities or ideas together
  • how people are evaluating their engagement activities, or not
  • patterns within the bigger picture of science engagement in Australia – with lots of opportunity for research

Coming in the near future the fully searchable database will help people to:

  • find potential partners for funding and delivery of activities
  • see if and how Australians respond to science engagement activities
  • create better tools for evaluation

The survey and database have been created in response to the Inspiring Australia Expert Working Group report Developing an Evidence Base for Science Engagement. It’s part of a suite of projects tackling the report’s recommendations.

The national audit team comprises Jenni Metcalfe (Econnect Communication), Kristin Alford (Bridge8), and Jesse Shore and Kali Madden (Australian Science Communicators). Nancy Longnecker (UWA), Rod Lamberts (ANU) and Joan Leach (UQ) are advisors for the project. The data will help develop a national evaluation tool for science engagement activities—another initiative in response to the report’s recommendations.

The audit will help science communicators to be seen as part of the big picture of science engagement in Australia and their standing with respect to the world.

This Inspiring Australia initiative is supported by the Australian Government through the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research & Tertiary Education in partnership with Econnect, Bridge8, ASC and UWA.

The Project Results

View the final report “National audit of Australian science engagement activities, 2012″

View the resulting visualisations:

For help using the visualisations see here, and the “How to use?” link on the top right of each visualisation. You can also view the full “How to use?” text for the bubbles here and the map here.

A note to participants: should you wish to edit your project data as it appears on the map visualisation please send an email to office [at] outlining your desired changes.

National Audit TeamInspiring Australia